Conferences & Events

Reading Salon 7: "Thing"
Author:    Time:2020-11-08    Click:

        On November 7-8, 2020, a Salon on the theme "THING" was held at Hunan Normal University.


THING: A report from Hu Chenxi, a Salon Participant

        Wang Bingjun, Professor of Beijing Foreign Studies University and Chair Professor of Xiaoxiang Scholars in Hunan Normal University successfully held the reading salon on the afternoon of November 7th and the morning of November 8th, 2020.

        This salon is sponsored by Foreign Languages and Culture and the German department of the Foreign Languages College of Hunan Normal University. The event attracted dozens of teachers and students from Hunan University, Hunan Institute of Foreign Economics, Hunan Institute of Finance and Economics, and German Education in Changsha.

        On the afternoon of the 7th, Professor Wang Bingjun first combed the changes in the relationship between people and things since ancient Greece, and pointed out that reading and thinking about "things" will help people to have a better understanding of themselves, the world, and the relationship between man and nature. 

        Afterwards, the students began to make book reports. Chen Jiexu analyzed the behavior of the primitive tribes in Moss's "Gift" and its significance for modern life. Wu Suyun made an impressive explanation of the concept put forward in Heidegger's "thing". Hu Chenxi emphasized the relationship between subject and object in Baudrillard's "thing system" and his concept of "thing". Feng Qian discussed the conquest of the object by people in the modern world in Latour's We Have Never Been Modern. Professor Wang Bingjun then commented on the contents of the students’ reports, answered their questions, and discussed the role of "things" in promoting history and the normative behavior of "things" for people. The people present have benefited a great deal from new and profound ideas presented.

        The next morning, the students of Quan Meixin discussed numerous aspects of cyber feminism in Harawi'sElectronic Family Manifesto, with excellent perception, which aroused a heated discussion between teachers and students about the future development of artificial intelligence. Professor Chen Zhongping brilliantly demonstrated the key concepts and main contents of Kheddis's "genealogy of material culture and cultural identity", and finally offered his own evaluations and put forward his thoughts, which were well received by the teachers and students present. Song Jianru made a detailed analysis of fossils, totems and images in Mitchell's Romanticism and the Life of Things. Based on Brown's "Theory of thing", Li Yao focused on the necessity of the turn of things and the expansion of academic horizons by marginalized things in literature. Professor Wang Bingjun shared his views on the reports of these speakers. At the same time, he expressed appreciation for two of Rilke's poems: "The Panther" and "The Ball".

        The reading salon came to a successful end in Fan Ni's beautiful rendition of these German poems.

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